RESTON (VIRGINIA), USA - Many flew across the country, some drove for hours from neighbouring cities, while others splurged on exorbitant taxi fares just to get here despite the driving rain.
At stake was something rare in these tough economic times: A job with some of the fastest-growing cities and industries.
The anxious job seekers, numbering in the hundreds, crowded into the Hyatt Regency Reston hotel's ballroom over the past weekend.
They handed out resumes and filled out endless application forms at the tables of many eager recruiters.
It was a scene that would have heartened anxious United States politicians fretting over the growing numbers of unemployed in the country.
But there was a twist: The recruiters were all from China, and the jobs available were in booming, bustling cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.
The Chinese, mostly local government officials, including representatives from personnel or talent recruitment bureaus, had travelled half way around the world to look for the best and brightest to play a leading role in furthering their cities' economic transformation.
While the Chinese scouts chiefly targeted overseas mainland Chinese in the past, this time round, they broadened their search to include Americans as well.
'We advertised the fair among Americans for the first time as mainland recruiters told us clearly that they would like to hire some Americans,' said Mr You Weishun, director of the North America Chinese Scholars International Exchange Centre, which organised the event.
He said that 1,500 job seekers, mostly overseas Chinese, attended the three-day fair which started on Oct 16.